Forum Water Facility Tours: See Climate Resilience in Action

San Vicente Dam-1

San Vicente Dam

Something new has been added: the International Water & Climate Forum has an important new dimension that expands the value of participation. On the meeting’s final afternoon, attendees will have the chance to get out and visit local water facilities – a unique opportunity to see first-hand how California utilities are managing water and diversifying supply and to ask questions of utility professionals immersed in real-time responses to climate impacts.

On Wednesday, December 9, after the final plenary session, participants will be able to explore one of two premier water projects in Southern California that are building resilience to climate change and improving the region’s sustainability: the San Vicente Dam and the San Diego Advanced Water Purification Facility.

The San Vicente Dam is a steep-sided impounding reservoir approximately 25 miles northeast of San Diego.  The dam was recently raised by 117 feet to 337 feet – the tallest dam-raise in the U.S. – as part of an emergency storage project that will more than double San Diego County Water Authority’s water storage capacity and protect against drought.  The six-year project added 152,000 acre-feet (187.5 million cubic meters) of water capacity, two-thirds of which will be for capturing surplus water during wet seasons for use in dry years and one-third of which will store water for use in a regional emergency, such as an earthquake that cuts off imported water supplies. In addition to a briefing on the project, tour participants will visit the top of the dam.


Advanced Water Purification Facility

The Advanced Water Purification Facility is part of Pure Water San Diego, a multi-year program to produce a safe and sustainable high-quality water supply for the city. From 2009 to 2013, a water purification demonstration verified the feasibility of a full-scale reservoir augmentation project, where purified water could be blended with imported water supplies in the San Vicente Reservoir before going to a standard drinking water treatment plant. At the new facility, recycled water is purified through membrane filtration processes including reverse osmosis, advanced oxidation with ultraviolet light and hydrogen peroxide. The purified water is similar in quality to distilled water. Tour participants will see the equipment and resulting purified water up close and have an opportunity to compare samples of purified, tap and recycled water.

Since space on these free tours is limited and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis, anyone interested in participating is urged to register early. You can select one of the two tour options when you register for the Forum, or if you registered before September 1, email Nicole Jacobson at to sign up.

The tours are a perfect way to close out your Forum experience, so be sure to act soon.